By Joe Gilder • March 25, 2014 Article provided by Home Studio Corner. I listen to a lot of recordings, and one mistake that I find very often in a beginner’s recording is that they don’t record acoustic guitars with microphones. Now, this is certainly my opinion, but I feel that acoustic guitar was meant to be recorded with a microphone. The direct sound of an acoustic guitar just never sounds good to me. I am an acoustic guitar player, so I’m certainly biased, and there are certainly situations where it makes sense to go direct for an effect. However, when I record acoustic guitars, I always, always, ALWAYS use a microphone. What are a couple of reasons why I don’t record acoustic guitar direct? I’ll give you two and a tip: 1. It sounds fake. There’s just no way around it. Even if you have a very good pickup system that costs you hundreds of dollars, it’s still going to sound like a direct acoustic guitar. There’s just no way around it. It will always and forever sound fake. Now, that’s not necessarily wrong, but for me, when I hear that in a mix, I immediately can listen to nothing else but that direct acoustic guitar sound. It just bothers me and I don’t like it. 2. A real guitar with a microphone will always sound better. You may think that you don’t have a good enough microphone or a good enough preamp or a good enough guitar to justify recording it with a microphone, but I can almost guarantee that if you just try and spend some time using a microphone on that guitar, you’ll find a certain combination of mic placement and microphone choice to make it sound amazing. And if not amazing, you can at least make it sound better than the direct signal. Tip: Try a dynamic microphone. A lot of people tell me that the reason they don’t record their guitar with a microphone is because their studio is noisy or it’s not acoustically treated, or there’s a lot of extra noise in the house or outside that keeps them from recording with a nice condenser microphone. Condenser microphones are great, but they are sensitive and they tend to hear everything. Using a dynamic microphone might be your solution. Dynamic mics don’t have nearly the detail of a condenser and they can pick up just the sound that you want without picking up a lot of extra noise. They tend to be a bit darker, and they’re not as bright as a condenser, but I would still take a dynamic mic on an acoustic guitar over the direct sound. Joe Gilder is a Nashville-based engineer, musician, and producer who also provides training and advice at the Home Studio Corner.Note that Joe also offers highly effective training courses, including Understanding Compression and Understanding EQ. About Joe Joe Gilder Sound Engineer Joe Gilder is a Nashville based engineer, musician, and producer who also provides training and advice at the Home Studio Corner. http://www.homestudiocorner.com Comments Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Tagged with: Engineer Guitars Instruments Joe Gilder Microphones Recording Techniques · all topics Subscribe to Live Sound International Subscribe to Live Sound International magazine. Stay up-to-date, get the latest pro audio news, products and resources each month with Live Sound.